Salesforce AppExchange App Development

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Salesforce AppExchange App Development

 

What is Salesforce AppExchange?

AppExchange is the marketplace for all things of Salesforce, including apps, Lightning components, Flow solutions and more. It’s like a utility market where based on the demand, you can use the utility based on vertical business requirements. It’s the official Salesforce store. Many Developers are creating solutions and services on top of Salesforce and then there are people such as the admins, developers and others who use AppExchange to make processes more efficient and teams more productive.

AppExchange holds almost all cloud application solution which can be used in respective of the problem solving or increase functional scope.

Every industry has unique needs. The capabilities of a healthcare clinic are different than those of media outlets. You can find Solutions made by experts in these industries:

  • Communications
  • Education
  • Financial services
  • Government
  • Healthcare and life sciences
  • Manufacturing
  • Media
  • Nonprofits
  • Professional services
  • Real estate
  • Retail
  • Travel, transportation and hospitality

Mostly it holds two kind of listing:

Salesforce AppExchange Solution:

A Solution is a combination of ideas used to help a company achieve its goals. A solution comes in terms of marketing, payroll, auditing, accounting market research and analysis, among other essential business activities. Businessmen set up companies to solve specific business problems. Solutions are designed to integrate multiple facets of a company's business through the interchange of information from various business process areas and related databases. The solution is something that plugs into Salesforce and extends its core functionality.

Let’s take an example - A Company wants to use Salesforce as an end-to-end solution platform where from the start of the customer journey till the end can be handled and capture everything. To achieve this implementation many things are required.  To overcome these things, the business needs to complete the entire task in a small period without setting up all the resource staff and Setup. Salesforce has provided an exchange where millions of the applications listed and based on requirement that be configured in your system or customized. Some of the most used apps are Dropbox, Zoom Info, Survey Monkey, Apptus, Service Now, etc. All are available as a plug-in, which increases the scope of the business functionality with an integrated environment.

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  • AppExhcnage Solution
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Salesforce AppExchange Consultants:

A consultant is a professional who provides expert advice in a particular area such as business, education, law, regulatory compliance, human resources, marketing, finance, health care, engineering, science, security or any other specialized fields. It’s like engaged in the business of giving expert advice to people working in a specific field. Consultants are Salesforce professionals who specialize in building custom solutions for particular clouds or industries.

Consultants on AppExchange enable customers to identify consultants best-suited for their specific needs easily. AppExchange Partner Intelligence is a new customer engagement analytics offering for partners to build and market their solutions effectively. There are over 1,000 consultants listed on AppExchange. These are certified practices offering strategic guidance, great technical skills, and relevant expertise to transform business.

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  • Consultant image
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Let’s take an example – A Company is planning to implement a CRM for the organization for the better customer experience and finalized Salesforce as a CRM, but as a business is new and no one knows about the Salesforce. They are not sure how it’s fruitful for the organization. As Salesforce comes with lots of configuration and customization, sometime business required a consultancy that can help him to identify the solution and provide implementation as per business requirement. The consultants provide an essential role in the face of the requirement or for the continuous operation requirement. They provide a solution to the application and make sure the application will be customized as per the business requirement with the best industry approach.

There are thousands of solutions that are free to install and use. Some of AppExchange’s most popular solutions are free, such as Salesforce lab solutions built in-house by Salesforce employees. Many providers also let you try their product before you buy it so that you can be sure that whatever you’re interested in actually meets your needs.

 

Salesforce AppExchange App Development Strategy:

Before finding the solution to the problem, the customer should be aware of the requirement. What is he actually looking for? These are some key points which will play an important role in making the decision.

  • Solution – What kind of solution you are looking for. It’s a functional enhancement, or lightning web component or 3rd party service or consultation needs to be decided.
  • Functionality –What does the solution need to do? Which of these features are must-haves and which nice-to-haves like add-on functionality?
  • Budget – This is the most important because what preferred pricing customer is looking for. Salesforce AppExchange supports both one-time payments and subscriptions.
  • Consultants – Consultants are specialists with in-depth industry knowledge and proven Salesforce expertise. When customer needs extra help on your Salesforce projects, they can help.

Salesforce AppExchange also suggests a package solution that is more suitable for the organization. This will also help to make a more accurate design.
When you decide to go with any of the applications or solutions, you should pay attention on the next items:

  • Listing summary section
  • Overview
  • Adoption Dashboard
  • Review
  • Free Trial or Paid
  • Documentation

Managed and Unmanaged Package:

Salesforce AppExchange solutions are delivered to your org in packages, which are containers for apps, tabs and objects. Packages come in two types: managed and unmanaged. The solution provider decides which package type to use to distribute the solution and how it influences to your org. Let’s review the most critical differences between package types.

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Install Salesforce AppExchange App Solution:

Let’s take an Example –  How to install Free Salesforce App solution in the Salesforce Dev org which is Service Agent Script for Lightning Flow.

  • Open New Incognito Window and navigate to https://appexchange.salesforce.com.
  • Login if you have already an account or create an account.
  • Click On Salesforce.
  • Go to the Search bar and enter “Service Agent Script for Lightning Flow”.
  • You will get the same name component, click on it.
  • Click on Get It Now.
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  • Select install in production as we are testing in Dev Org. If you are trying to install in live environment better to first check with Sandbox.
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  • There are three modes of installation.
    • Install for Admins Only
    • Install for All Users
    • Install for Specific Profiles.
  • Select Install for Admins only.
  • Click on Done button.
  • Salesforce processes of the installation are in the background and you will receive  the email once process completed.
  • When Installation complete, login into application.
  • Click on Setup and go to Process Automation Setting.
  • Enable Lightning runtime for flows and click Save.
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Let’s Create a Flow to see how this component works in the Salesforce Organization.

  • Go to Setup and Search Flow.
  • Click on Flow and Create new Screen Flow by selecting option.
  • Flow Builder is a point-and-click tool for building flows.
  • In Flow Builder, drag the Screen element onto the canvas.
  • In the New Screen window, set the screen’s Label and The API Name automatically populates.
  • Drag the agent Script component onto the screen element. You can find the Flow solutions that you install from AppExchange in the Custom section of the components list.
  • Click On Done Button.
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  • Drag the connector node at the bottom of the Start element onto the Screen element and save the request.
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  • After the record is saved, click on Run to see the output.
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Building Blocks for Salesforce Application Development:

Components are building blocks that you can put together to make bigger things, such as apps. You can also use components to customize web pages. Building apps and customizing web pages are very different tasks. Salesforce has two component types: components and web components.

Components are modular building blocks. It can use segments to build other solutions, such as apps, with no coding required. Components allow adding functionality without need to develop it on your own.

Web components are user interface elements. To change web components you should use the Lightning Experience user interface. In Lightning Experience there is everything on a page – buttons, tabs and Lightning web component. To customize a page, you  should add web components to the page.

Salesforce developers create some components, but partners create most of the components listed on Salesforce AppExchange.

Lightning Data:

Sometimes you don’t need extra functionality. You need high-quality data that completes the picture of what’s going on in your customer’s world. You need Lightning Data. It connects your Salesforce org to a data feed and automatically enriches your CRM data. Lightning Data Engine provides an automatic and perpetual connection between org and a third-party data feed. It ensures that all of the data is as current as possible.

Salesforce also provides a solution to select the respective item from the Salesforce AppExchange. Recommendations are based on where you’re located, what you’ve installed, the community profile info you’ve shared and more.

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Organizational alignment:

Organizational alignment ensures that all aspects of your organization are aligned with the realization of its strategy, operationally, mission and strategic management of the business.  Whether you’re a small business or a global company, getting everyone moving in the right direction is a challenge. It’s about getting everyone in the organization in sync, working together with precision, focusing on a common goal and moving at incredible speed.

  • Keeps everyone moving in the same direction.
  • Clarifies priorities.
  • Allows managers to track and measure their team’s progress and their goals.
  • Helps individuals hold themselves accountable for delivering results

Salesforce provides a model for the organizational alignment that is V2MOM and below are the component.

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V2MOM process keeps across all levels, functions and regions of the company, aligned and focused on the company’s primary objectives and moving forward in the right direction faster together.

Salesorce Application Life Cycle and Development:

Salesforce provides various development tools and processes to meet the needs of customers, which cover the journey of the different face of the development cycle.

  • Change set development.
  • Org development.
  • Salesforce application development.

You can safely develop some kinds of new functionality in a production org, such as developing new dashboards, reports, and email templates. However, specific customizations made directly in production can create a mess by deleting data or even worse.

What can happen if you don’t test changes before making them available in production?

  • A workflow rule accidentally creates an infinite processing loop.
  • A change of a field’s type modifies data so you can’t undo this action.
  • A logic error in a validation rule prevents you from saving a record.
  • Page layout changes confuse people instead of improving their experience.

This is the reason important to plan everything before directly jump to production. There are set rules; if we follow it, it will help avoid technical or business glitches in the final production environment.

§Plan Release– Start your customization or development project with a plan. Gather requirements and analysis of the requirement.

 

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  • Develop – Complete the work, following the design specifications. Perform the job in an environment containing a copy of the production org’s metadata, but with no production data.
  • Test – Exercise the changes you’re making to check that they work as intended before you integrate them with other people’s work. Do your testing in the same type of environment as you used in the developing step, but keep your development and integrated testing environments separate.
  • Build Release– A logical bundle of customizations that you deploy to production.
  • Test Release – Test what you’re actually going to deploy, but test safely in a staging environment that mimics production as much as possible. Run full regression and final performance tests in this step. Test the release with a small set of experienced people who provide feedback based on application performance and functional behavior.
  • Release – You can deploy the customization to production and monitor the changes with the warranty time.
Salesforce AppExchange App Development life cycle
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To help keep projects and expectations under control, add more structure by setting up a release schedule and defining criteria for releases of different sizes.

 

Patch – Bug fixes and simple changes. Simple changes include reports, dashboards, list views and email templates.

 

Minor – Changes with limited impacts, such as a new workflow rule or trigger impacting a single business process. These releases typically require testing.

 

Major – Changes with significant impact, including changes with one or more dependencies because these releases can significantly affect the user experience and data quality, require thorough testing, training and careful change management.

 

Application License:

 

A license is an official permission or permits to do, use, or own something.  A shor definition of a license is an authorization to use licensed material.

 

Salesforce provides you with tools for managing licenses and for tracking prospects who installs the Salesforce AppExchange App. When a prospect or customer installs a managed package containing your solution, the content of that package  will become available to users in that customer’s organization according to the terms of your license. These terms dictate who can use Salesforce AppExchange App and how long they can continue using it.

 

As an AppExchange ISV partner, first, identify your customers to know what they need or want. Similarly, as an AppExchange partner, you figure out who your audience is to have a successful AppExchange product and an AppExchange partner, you can build either an ISV force app or a Lightning Platform Embedded app, commonly referred to as an OEM Embedded app.

 

ISV Force App – If you want your app to extend Sales or Service Cloud, build an ISV force app. You can sell ISV force apps only to existing Salesforce customers. These apps are typically designed to augment Sales Cloud or Service Cloud business functions. If your app augments Sales Cloud, you can use Lead, Opportunity, Campaign, and Case objects. Some features are optional, and customers must purchase licenses to access them. If the app depends on functionality available only with specific licenses, such as Communities, customers must buy those licenses from Salesforce.

 

OEM Embedded App – If your app doesn’t rely on Sales Cloud or Service Cloud functionality, you want to build an OEM Embedded app. It’s an in the dependent solution of the real-world business problem. OEM Embedded apps have access to the Salesforce Lightning Platform, including standard and custom objects, workflow, reporting and security.

 

Important– Salesforce does not allow you to rebuild Sales or Service Cloud functionality within an OEM Embedded app.

 

When customers purchase your app, they are purchasing one or more AppExchange Application licenses from you. You can choose whether those licenses are for individuals or if they are site-wide. When customers purchase your OEM Embedded app, they are purchasing AppExchange Application licenses and embedded Salesforce Lightning Platform user licenses from you.

 

When building an OEM Embedded app, you can make three types of user licenses available to your customers: Lightning Platform, Customer Community, and Customer Community Plus. OEM Embedded app can include Salesforce Communities, allowing your customers to work with external users like their customers and partners. And the more users you have, the more licenses you sell.

 

Pricing:

 

As a Salesforce AppExchange ISV partner, the Salesforce app development using resources within our infrastructure. To cover our costs, the partner shares a percentage of the revenue with Salesforce. As sell licenses, you need to pay Salesforce. It’s only when you sell licenses that you pay Salesforce, not before.

 

ISV force app customers have already purchased user licenses from Salesforce, that means costs are widely covered. If you build an ISV force app, you have the flexibility in choosing the price of your app.

 

OEM Embedded apps have a higher cost because they are included in your app.

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Salesforce provides you with tools for managing licenses and for tracking prospects who install Salesforce AppExchange App. Salesforce provides nifty tools to make it easier to troubleshoot problems and get your customers back in action in record time. When a prospect or customer installs a managed package containing Salesforce AppExchange App, the contents of that package become available to users in that customer’s org according to the terms of your license.

Type of Partner:

  • Salesforce AppExchange app development partners develop ISV force solutions that run on the Salesforce platform and sell to Salesforce customers only.
  • OEM partners embed the Salesforce platform in their specialized solutions to sell to customers outside of Salesforce.

When partner sign Salesforce partner agreement, license the use of Salesforce technology for your business. That license arrangement affects how you license your products to your customers.

Everyone’s business model is different, so Salesforce provides you with a couple of licensing options you can offer to your customers.

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Your relationship with a customer begins when that customer installs the Salesforce AppExchange App. If they like it, they pay you for a license. In return, you provide them with a working solution and make them feel extra special when they need a helping hand.

License Management Application keeps records on installs and licenses and provides necessary tools to help customers. Salesforce distributes it as a managed package that usually lives in business org whenever a prospect installs solution; the LMA creates two records in the organization where the LMA is installed:

  • A Lead record that identifies the prospect.
  • A License record for that prospect, based on the licensing terms for your Salesforce app.

The LMA also provides a support console that helps you get in touch with your customers to help them troubleshoot issues. The console allows you to find the orgs where the Salesforce AppExchange App is installed.

If your partner login doesn’t have access, you can create a case on the Salesforce Partner Community to request access to the LMA.

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If after the installation customer wants to modify the license such as numbers of seats it can be achieved by modify the license.

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Salesforce has a lot of control over the features on the platform. Users can selectively enable fancy features for power users without affecting anyone else. These tools grant a lot of flexibility in how we deploy and manage functions.

Features are any collection of custom code or components that are assigned within the Feature Parameters tab. A feature can be defined within your managed package and is created within the FMA under the same Feature Parameters tab.

To define the Feature Parameter follow below Steps.

  • Go to manage Package and Select Feature Parameter Tab.
  • Select type of parameter wants to use.
  • Provide the name of the Feature and data flow direction.
  • Add parameter to the package.
  • Open the License Management App.
  • Select the license for the customer whose feature parameter you want to view or modify.
  • Edit or delete the record.

Customer Support:

Customer support is a range of customer services to assist customers in making cost-effective and correct use of a product. It includes assistance in planning, installation, training, troubleshooting, maintenance, upgrading and disposal of a product.

Customer support is part of the software business. It doesn’t matter if you’ve built the best solution the world has ever seen; your customers still need help from time to time. Sometimes the fix is easy. Customers contact you by email, phone or Service Cloud and give you enough information to fix it or help them complete their tasks.

Some time screen share or Video of the problem does not work. Also, it’s not good to take the login credential of the customer to fix the problem.

Salesforce Provide a solution where developer or support team can log in for the respective  time to the application without asking credentials.

  • Ask Customer to login to their personal settings.
  • Click Grant Login Access.
  • Customer can provide duration of the access of the application.
  • Now user can login from the LMA by logining into Subscribe Console.
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Security:

To protect users and data, application security has become an important consideration for businesses globally. To create and release an app, developers must continually monitor, fix and prevent security vulnerabilities.

Salesforce’s high priority is trust. It provides a set of guidelines that needs to follow to make the client data secure. Salesforce conducts a security review of the product before listing it on Salesforce AppExchange. The application will not be listed if the Exchange found any issue in terms of security. Product’s defenses against the attacks described on the OWASP list.

Salesforce provides a set of guidelines for the application development in terms of operation use, such as the governance limit of the server language Apex.

The security review process is critical, but it doesn’t have to be painful. The security team can ask for a product to be reviewed at any time, even after it’s been approved. Typically, Salesforce AppExchange app Development products are reviewed for security once a year.

The Product Security team also wants to know that you’ve done your homework. Include the reports you got from the scanners, along with explanations of any false positives.

Integrity and Ethics:

Integrity is the practice of being honest and showing consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions.

Salesforce has partners all over the world. Salesforce has the same expectation for all, no matter size, industry, and business function. Salesforce values transparency, trust, respect, and communication. It’s the foundation for a strong relationship between Salesforce and Salesforce AppExchange App Development ISV partners.

Salesforce and its partners are committed to conducting business ethically. It means achieving success based on the quality of products, competitive prices, and outstanding customer service.

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